In a recent post, we talked about the importance of promoting a safety culture in your workplace. The way we promote particular behaviors, values and attitudes to employees can make a great difference for achieving company goals. Incentives such as compensations, rewards and recognition can be useful for getting your employees involved. However, incentives can be a double-edged sword if they are not used properly.
So what happens in safety? Are incentives effective for promoting a safety culture or not? What is the best way to incentivize a safe workplace? In this blog, we tell you what we found out based on the experience of a group of safety professionals.
Many professionals agree that when employees are rewarded through incentives, there can be some consequences in the way employees perform their work. For example, employees can change their behavior, express unconformity if they feel incentives are not distributed equally, or they even show irritation when safety incentive programs are modified.
Many others agree that incentives such as gift cards and bonuses incentivize employees to not report injuries or hide incidents for fear of losing the incentive. For this reason, it’s important that employers understand how to address incentive programs in order to make their employees focus on their job, not on the reward.
On the other hand, incentives that include recognition activities seem to be the most effective ways to build trust among employees in order to maintain them productive, motivated and most importantly ensure proactive safety behaviors. Consider the following key points to successfully incentivize your employees.
Recognize your employees for their performance
It’s true that everyone loves recognition, especially in front of others. When employees are recognized for their actions, they are motivated to maintain or improve their results at work. In safety, recognition can also help reinforce safe behaviors at the workplace.
For instance, some safety professionals prefer recognizing employees or teamworks either during safety meetings, through email campaigns or at the moment when they are “caught” doing the right thing. Professionals in the field advise to do this sincerely and randomly in order to be more natural and unexpected.
Appreciate employee participation
Another way to incentivize your employees is by recognizing their attitudes. When employees are involved in the safety process, they are more likely to take part in safety inspections, make suggestions and be more proactive. In this sense, you demonstrate to them that their contributions and ideas are valuable for improving the safety program.
For example, a safety professional shared his experience with a program called “Keep Me Informed”, where employees were encouraged to report missed potential hazards and make suggestions to make the workplace safer. Not only were employees rewarded for their contributions but also they became more aware of their surroundings.
In summary, we believe that the key of success when it comes to designing a safety incentive program falls on recognizing positive attitudes and behaviors and if incentive programs are correctly structured, results in rising safety awareness and reducing risk hazards will be evident.
Kwema helps companies to mitigate potential risks and hazards by providing safety wearables to employees. Our safety devices have the capability of activating an emergency protocol, alerting safety supervisors or 911. Additionally, Kwema’s technology is designed to keep training costs low.
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